India’s response to COVID-19 has been proactive, pre-emptive, graded: Dr Harsh Vardhan

[#item_author]Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

New Delhi [India], April 23 (ANI): Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday described India’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as ‘proactive, pre-emptive and graded.’
“India’s response has been proactive, pre-emptive and graded in handling situation arising out of COVID-19 outbreak”, said Dr Vardhan, while participating in a virtual interactive session with Health Ministers of member countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the measures being taken for the containment of COVID-19.
Dr Vardhan added, “India was first to respond to COVID -19 and stands on a better footing than the rest of the world because of the valuable and sincere services of our corona warriors.”
Referring to the active surveillance efforts made by the government agencies to monitor potential victims or carriers of the disease, Dr Vardhan said: “We know the enemy and its whereabouts. We are able to check this enemy through community surveillance, issuance of various advisories, cluster containment and dynamic strategy.”
Speaking about how the crisis arising out of COVID-19 has been turned into an opportunity to strengthen the healthcare delivery system in the country, Dr Vardhan said: “We had only one Lab at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at Pune, to perform tests for COVID-19 initially. During the last three months, we have scaled up the number of government labs to 230 aided by another 87 private labs with more than 16,000 collection centres.”
He further said that as of now we have tested more than five lakh people for COVID-19. “We are going to increase the numbers of government labs to 300 and ramp up our present daily testing capacity of 55,000 to one lakh per day by May 31, 2020,” added the Union Health Minister.
Elaborating on the preparations made by the country to deal with the crisis, he said that the government has ensured preparedness for high loads of patients in times to come.
The government has classified COVID treatment facilities based on the severity of the disease, into three categories, which are — COVID Care Centres for patients with mild symptoms, COVID Health Care Centres – for patients with medium symptoms and Dedicated COVID Hospitals for patients with severe symptoms.
The Union Health Minister said: “These three types of COVID centres are duly mapped to facilitate the transfer of patients as per the severity of the case. We have in all 2,033 dedicated facilities in the country with more than 1, 90,000 isolation beds, more than 24,000 ICU beds, and more than 12,000 ventilators.”
“I can assure that we are prepared for any eventuality and we are in a position to provide proper health care to all patients to make them healthy and fit for all times to come,” he added. (ANI)

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